Astellas Pharma

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Astellas Pharma Inc.
Public KK
Traded as
Industry Pharmaceutical
Predecessors Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical
Fujisawa Pharmaceutical
(Merged in 2005)
Founded 2005; 10 years ago (2005)
Headquarters 2-5-1, Nihonbashi-Honcho, Chūō-ku, Tokyo 103-8411, Japan
Key people
Yoshihiko Hatanaka
(President and CEO)
Revenue Increase US$11.06 billion (FY 2013)
Profit Increase US$1.28 billion (¥1,139 billion) (FY 2013)
Number of employees
17,649 (consolidated as of March 2014)
Subsidiaries Astellas US
Website Official website
Footnotes / references

Astellas Pharma Inc. (アステラス製薬株式会社 Asuterasu Seiyaku Kabushiki-gaisha?) is a Japanese pharmaceutical company, formed on 1 April 2005 from the merger of Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (山之内製薬株式会社 Yamanouchi Seiyaku Kabushiki-gaisha?) and Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (藤沢薬品工業株式会社 Fujisawa Yakuhin Kōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha?).

Astellas is a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFJ) keiretsu.


Early foundations[edit]

Fujisawa Shoten was started in 1894 by Tomokichi Fujisawa in Osaka, and was renamed Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co. in 1943. Yamanouchi Yakuhin Shokai was started in 1923 by Kenji Yamanouchi in Osaka. The company was renamed Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. in 1940 and moved to Tokyo in 1942. Both companies started their overseas expansion at about the same time, opening offices in Taiwan in 1962 and 1963, respectively, and in the United States and Europe from 1977 onwards.

Recent times & mergers[edit]

Fujisawa acquired Lyphomed in 1990 and thereafter established its US R&D center in Deerfield, Illinois. Yamanouchi's R&D center in Leiderdorp was established with the acquisition of the pharmaceutical division of Royal Gist Brocades in 1991. Fujisawa and Yamanouchi combined in a "merger of equals," forming Astellas Pharma on 1 April 2005. At least some of its older products continue to be distributed under the original brand, ostensibly due to high brand-name recognition.[4] Astellas had a collaboration agreement with CoMentis from 2008 to 2014 focused on development of beta-secretase inhibitor therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease.[5]

On June 9, 2010, Astellas acquired OSI Pharmaceuticals for $4.0 billion. In December 2014, Astellas expanded its 18-month-old collaboration with Cytokinetics, focussing on the R&D and commercialisation of skeletal muscle activators. The companies announced they will advance the development of CK-2127107 (a fast skeletal troponin activator) into Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of Spinal Muscular Atrophy and possibly other neuromuscular conditions. The companies have extended their R&D program focussing on the discovery of additional skeletal sarcomere activators through into 2016. The collaboration is expected to generate more than $600 million for Cytokinetics as well as $75 million in milestone payments.[6] In November 2015 the company announced it's move to acquire Ocata Therapeutics (formerly Advanced Cell Technology) for $379 million.[7] Later in the same month the company announce it would sell its dermatology business to LEO Pharma for $725 million.[8]

Acquisition history[edit]

The following is an illustration of the company's major mergers and acquisitions and historical predecessors (this is not a comprehensive list):


Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co

Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co
(Est 1894)

(Acq 1990)

Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co
(Est 1923)

OSI Pharmaceuticals
(Acq 2010)

Ocata Therapeutics
(Acq 2015)


Astellas' franchise areas are urology, immunology (transplantation), dermatology, cardiology, and infectious disease. Priority areas for R&D are infectious diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, oncology, and diseases of the central nervous system.


Some of the key products produced by Astellas include:


The company's headquarters are in Tokyo, with research centers in Tsukuba and Osaka. Clinical development is centered in Northbrook, Illinois and Leiden, Netherlands. Combined revenues of the two pre-merger companies were $7.9 billion in 2004. Worldwide the company employs about 17,000 people. The United States subsidiary of Astellas is Astellas US LLC.[9]

The company's advertising slogans are:

  • English: Leading Light for Life
  • Japanese: Ashita wa kaerareru. (明日は変えられる。 Changing Tomorrow.?)[10]


  1. ^ "Corporate Profile". Astellas Pharma. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Annual Report 2014" (PDF). Astellas Pharma. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Astellas Pharma Snapshot". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Yamanouchi Pimafucin (natamycin) product line manufactured at least up to 11/2007"
  5. ^ Staff (November 15, 2014). "Astellas Ends Alzehimer's Collaboration with CoMentis". Discovery & Development. Gen. Eng. Biotechnol. News (paper) 34 (20). p. 14. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Slatko, Joshua (December 2013). "BMS changes senior management team". People on the Move: Pharma. Med Ad News. p. 27. 
  10. ^ "Corporate Philosophy of Astellas Pharma". Astellas Pharma. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 

External links[edit]